Antivirus XP 2008 Malware Wave Continues
The Panda US Security Blog reports that the crooks behind Antivirus XP 2008 are using faked CNN News Alert e-mails to send people to malware infector sites, where people are told to download a new codec to view the alert. This codec turns out to be Antivirus XP 2008. It also shows up as a fake update to IE 7.
In my dealings with the product, I find that some users are getting it from e-mailed spam messages, while others are picking it up from sites they found during Web searches. I’ve been wondering if a plain-text e-mail system would help, but it certainly could not hurt.
Bill Mullins notes that the next version, Antivirus XP 2009, is already out. I cannot vouch for his recommended products or sites, since I have not heard of any of them. Use them at your own risk. However, his general synopsis of the malicious fake security software is accurate.
Surprisingly, having ultra-tight settings in IE7 did not seem to prevent installation. I’d be interested in learning whether Firefox-using networks and Opera-using networks are also having problems with this software popping up. In the meantime, use common sense: avoid going to questionable sites, don’t open e-mail or IM messages from people you do not know, don’t open unexpected attachments, and call your local support staff immediately if you get a strange browser pop-up message about antivirus or antispyware or other security software. If your local support is your neighbor’s 13 year-old, turn the computer off and then call him after school.
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